Where does a tomahawk fit in the lifestyle of an every day modern guy? It probably doesn’t, but man are they cool. Just holding a small axe or tomahawk, you immediately imagine the birth of the country where tools like these cleared land, built homesteads, and scalped more than one unwelcome guest.
Today, a tomahawk’s uses are virtually limitless. It can be a perfect campground tool, breaching instrument, glass breaker, improvised hammer, defensive weapon, or used to throw at targets for fun. Manufacturers have no problem tapping into the uses of the modern hawk to market them across a wide variety of lifestyles. Operators carry them, as do first responders; so why shouldn’t you, Mr. John Q. Geardo?
All that marketing spin won over my cynical heart, but I refused to spend a mortgage payment on what I knew would be a peripheral tool in my arsenal. So I went on a hunt for a quality hawk at a budget price (meaning I’m a cheapass and didn’t want to waste my cash). I bought the CRKT Kangee a few years back and take it with me everywhere. Literally. It sits in the driver’s side door compartment of my Xterra and I use it constantly, much more than I expected.
The Kangee is a collaboration between Columbia River Knife and Tool and Ryan Johnson of RMJ, possibly THE most well known and respected hawk company on the market. At about $90, the Kangee is styled similarly to its high-end RMJ cousins, but at a price point most folks can live with.
The business end is all business, SK5 carbon steel rounded and sufficiently sharp for daily tasks from the get-go. There is a cleverly crafted finger choil near the head for detail tasks. The rear end is shaped neatly into a spike, perfect for crushing glass, ripping into sheet metal like a car door, or opening a new orifice in your opponent.
The removable G10 scales along the subtle curve of the handle creates an extremely comfortable and balanced feel. There are minor scalloped areas to guide hand positioning and give you immediate control. I find myself more often than not with my hands at the end of the handle, making the most of the head’s inertia. Sure, the screws will rust in time, but this is a tool and the elements are vicious.
The Kangee comes with a polymer sheath, complete with security buckle and MOLLE compatibility useful for lashing the tomahawk to a bag or a belt.
I have not yet sharpened the Kangee, but it has held its edge relatively well. I wouldn’t shave with it at this point, but for its uses the blade is fine. From splitting campfire wood to getting your Mel Gibson-esque reenactment of the Patriot on (look it up on YouTube) the CRKT Kangee is a decent mid-tier hawk that will easily find its way into your toolbag, patiently waiting to be called into action.
Emergency: Activate firefly, deploy green (or brown) star cluster, get your wank sock out of your ruck and stand by ’til we come get you.
About the Author: When Matt Stagliano is not busy scoring with legions of Japanese girls who think he’s Chris Costa or character acting a bit part in cheap Westerns (he usually plays a syphilis-ridden cowpuncher or similar saddletramp) he can be found shooting some of the best photos and video in the tactical/firearms industry. A former Fortune 50 consultant who is (no shit) a former DJ with a degree in Physics he never uses, Matt is not only brilliant behind the lens but also a helluva nice guy with great taste in booze. Oh, and his dog has a fierce, unnatural love for porcupines. Learn more about Firelance online or follow them on Instagram (@firelancemedia). On Facebook here.